On December 16, 2016 in Munich, the Monuments Men Foundation, in conjunction with the National World War II Museum, returned to the Bavarian State Museum a 16th century Flemish tapestry that once hung in Adolf Hitler’s famed Eagle’s Nest, in Berchtesgaden, Germany.
Lt. Col. Paul Danahy of the 101st Airborne removed the tapestry and sent it home as a souvenir. It hung in the stairwell of his home for years. His daughter, Cathy Hinz, inherited the object upon his death. She later decided to donate the tapestry to our country’s National World War II Museum, where I first saw it. Aware that it was cultural property, the Monuments Men Foundation, in conjunction with the Museum, researched the history of the tapestry and cleared the roadblocks for its return to the Bavarian State Museum, the beneficiary of property once owned by Hitler, Göring, and the Nazi Party. The tapestry will be carefully studied and restored before being placed on display at the Bavarian National Museum in Munich.
The return was possible thanks to the collaboration with Dr. Nick Mueller and the leadership of the National World War II Museum, who set the example for other museums in the United States by its swift action in working with the Monuments Men Foundation to promptly return this object. Ms. Toni Kiser, Assistant Director for Museum Collections, art dealer Konnie Bernheimer and his family, who despite suffering greatly at the hands of the Nazis, wanted to assist the Foundation in seeing this tapestry returned to Bavaria, our attorney, Tom Kline, and Dr. Alfred Grimm and his colleagues at the Bavarian State Museum.